RAI report that 1982 World Cup winner, Italy legend and Ballon d’Or winner Paolo Rossi has died at the age of 64.
The news was announced by RAI Sport presenter Enrico Varriale, as Rossi had been working with RAI as a pundit in recent years.
“Such terribly sad news: Paolo Rossi has left us,” wrote Varriale.
“Unforgettable Pablito, who made all of us fall in love in that summer of 1982 and who was a precious and competent work colleague in RAI over recent years.
“RIP dear Paolo.”
Rossi’s wife Federica Cappelletti confirmed the news on social media, followed by his RAI colleague Varriale.
Fans, teammates and friends of Paolo Rossi are remembering the Italy legend and Ballon d’Or winner on social media.
During his playing career, the striker represented Juventus, Como, Vicenza, Perugia, Milan and Hellas Verona until his retirement in 1987.
However, it was as Italy’s hero in the 1982 World Cup that Rossi wrote his name in the history books.
He scored 20 goals in 48 caps for the Azzurri, including six on the way to the 1982 trophy in Spain.
His hat-trick to beat Brazil 3-2 is legendary, followed by both goals to defeat Poland 2-0 in the semi-final and finding the net in the 3-1 Final triumph against West Germany.
These exploits allowed him to win the Golden Boot as top scorer at the 1982 World Cup and consequently the 1982 Ballon d’Or as European Player of the Year.
Rossi was Capocannoniere of Serie A in 1977-78 with 24 goals, won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1984, UEFA Supercup in 1984-85, the European Cup with Juventus in 1985 and two Serie A titles in 1982 and ’84.
Pablito died just days after Diego Armando Maradona.